Which is Better – An Electric Toothbrush or a Manual Toothbrush?

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Which is Better – An Electric Toothbrush or a Manual Toothbrush?
Advanced Family Dentistry – Dr. Sonny Kim, Reston, Virginia

We love to educate our patients on the best way to care for their dental health themselves. And one of the questions we hear quite is whether they should use an electric toothbrush or a manual toothbrush. With so many options on the market, which one is right?

The Benefits of a Manual Toothbrush

Using a manual toothbrush generally allows a little more maneuverability than an electric toothbrush, with the benefit that it doesn’t need to be plugged in to work. It is truly portable, lightweight, easy to be found, and less expensive than an electric toothbrush. However, when you need to change your toothbrush, you must throw out the entire thing.

When it comes to choosing a manual toothbrush, the American Dental Association (ADA) has found in one review that those with “Either multi-level bristles or angled bristles perform better than the conventional flat-trimmed bristles in removing plaque.”

We provide each of our patients a manual toothbrush following their regular cleaning appointments. Since toothbrushes should be replaced every 4-6 months, it is a way to remind our patients to change out their toothbrush.

The Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush?

An electric toothbrush is often preferred by people who have trouble with manual dexterity, like people with disabilities arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome; the elderly or children; or those with dental appliances like braces. Options include a variety of head-movement options including rotating, oscillating, pulsating, circular and ultrasonic. The ultra-small vibrations or rotations of the brush head offer more movements across your teeth. When it’s time to change the toothbrush, you only need to replace the head.

Which is Better?

When recommending a toothbrush, the American Dental Association states, “Either manual or powered toothbrushes can be used effectively.” It does recommend, however, looking for a product that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance. That means the toothbrush has been reviewed by strict criteria and accepted for dental use.

The main use of a toothbrush, whether manual or electric, is to remove the oral plaque that can lead to decay and disease.

Proper Brushing Technique

To clean your teeth thoroughly, brush twice a day (morning and evening) for at least two minutes using a soft-bristled brush. Use a light touch, making sure to massage the teeth at the gum line. Do not scrub teeth with a vigorous back and forth motion. This can damage gums and lead to gingivitis and gum recession, or what the ADA calls “gingival abrasion.” You can literally scrub away your gums!

Make Advanced Family Dentistry Your Family Dentist in Reston VA

Advanced Family Dentistry provides a complete range of dental services for every member of your family, from general and restorative dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, oral surgery and dental implants.

We love to educate our patients on the proper way to care for their own dental health so that they can keep their natural teeth throughout their lifetimes. Ask us if you have questions about brushing, our toothbrush recommendations or any dental health issue.

We’d love to be your family dentist! Contact Advanced Family Dentistry to set your next appointment.

Dr. Sonny Kim is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI), the highest education level for general dentists in this field.

Advanced Family Dentistry
Dr. Sonny Kim, DMD
11876 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 101
Reston, VA 20191
Phone: 703.390.9191

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